RogerBW's Blog

Kirkaldy Testing Museum 09 February 2017 - 2 comments

Just off Southwark Street in London is an unexpected piece of industrial history. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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On-line postage with Royal Mail and MyHermes 25 January 2017

With 3D printing sales and occasional bulk imports of board games I send 4-5 packages a month, and sometimes larger batches. There seem to be two main ways of achieving this easily.

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Horniman Museum, Forest Hill 10 January 2017 - 1 comment

I'd driven past it many times when living in Lee Green, but had never been inside; over Christmas I remedied this. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Roger's 2016 in 50 Words 31 December 2016 - 1 comment

A friend likes to sum up his year in a set number of words, and I copy this fine idea. "Think of it as a short and un-boastful summary of the year, which nobody is expected to understand all of."

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Kobo warranty service 26 October 2016 - 1 comment

Well, everyone has a terrible customer service story.

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Where Brands Meet People 18 September 2016 - 4 comments

I'm not fond of ClearChannel; I'm already inclined to regard it as a fairly vile mob because (a) it's an advertising firm and (b) it systematically destroyed non-top-40 music radio in the USA so as to maximise advertising revenue. But it's reached a new low.

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Autumn Barbecue 2016 31 August 2016

On a very bright and warm day, there was a select gathering of fans of pig and goat.

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New Passport 11 August 2016

My passport was a few months away from expiry, so when I got back from the latest foreign trip I renewed it. It only took two weeks, which isn't bad, though I think the Passport Office might take a tip or two from an enthusiastic amateur; their professional advisors don't seem to be doing a terribly good job.

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Summer Barbecue 2016 22 July 2016

On a day of sun and showers, a surprising lot of us got together for beer and belly-pork.

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Midnight Sun 08 July 2016 - 1 comment

I've been on holiday again. With photographs: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Biological Warfare Cake 02 June 2016 - 8 comments

My wife went to a wedding recently, and came back with a Thing.

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April Barbecue 2016 02 May 2016 - 4 comments

It was a slightly chilly day, but that just meant that people huddled round the fire when the wind blew. (Fire good. Fire is my friend.)

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Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester 20 April 2016 - 5 comments

Also over Easter, I went to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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IWM North 30 March 2016 - 3 comments

As I was in Manchester over Easter, I visited the IWM North, the only one of the five IWM sites I hadn't been to. It was a bit of a disappointment. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Spring Barbecue 2016 20 March 2016

With a peak outside temperature of 7°C, we stayed inside for this "barbecue".

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Wallace Collection 2015 29 February 2016

Shortly after Christmas I went to the Wallace Collection for the first time. I could spend days there. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Severe Weather Warnings 13 February 2016

I tend to use the weather forecasts from the Met. Office as I find them more accurate than the BBC ones (even when the BBC is using Met. Office data). However, I find the Severe Weather Warnings rather less useful.

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Gazebo Lights 27 January 2016 - 1 comment

When we had the gazebo roof reconstructed, I cut down the old LED light strings as they were starting to fail and there wasn't really room for them in the new configuration. Now I have a new lighting arrangement.

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More from the Science Museum 21 January 2016 - 2 comments

More from the Science Museum last Boxing Day Bank Holiday. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Lenovo/IBM warranty service 17 January 2016

It used to be traditional on a personal blog to rant about the horrible service one had received from a big company. (These days it does no good unless it's on Twitter or Facebook.) But there doesn't seem to be enough of the other side.

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Roger's 2015 in 100 Words 31 December 2015 - 1 comment

A friend likes to sum up his year in a hundred words, and I copy this fine idea. "Think of it as a short and un-boastful summary of the year, which nobody is expected to understand all of."

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Cosmonauts at the Science Museum 29 December 2015 - 4 comments

Since yesterday was the Boxing Day Bank Holiday, I went to the Science Museum for their Cosmonauts exhibition. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything. (I'd been told photography was prohibited, but there were no signs and nobody tried to stop me. I didn't use flash, which may have helped.)

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Winter Barbecue 2015 21 December 2015 - 3 comments

A remarkably mild day for mid-December, with temperatures about 12-13°C, no rain and not much wind. All images are cc-by-sa.

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Pink Sky At Night 06 November 2015 - 1 comment

Yesterday, within a minute after local sunset, the sky went pink.

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A utopian vision for electric cars 29 October 2015 - 2 comments

I have an idea for a relatively simple change which would remove some of my objections to the use of electric cars. This is less blatantly utopian than the last one.

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Clapham South Deep Shelter 19 October 2015 - 2 comments

On Sunday I visited the Clapham South deep-level shelter. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Pyracantha 09 October 2015 - 1 comment

A couple of years ago we planted a pyracantha at the front of the house. Until this year it hadn't put on much of a show, though it had become pleasingly spiky. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Barbecue Like a Pirate Day 2015 20 September 2015 - 5 comments

Surprisingly good weather after a week of mostly rain, so I left the tent down again for the relatively small party (if it rained we could all shelter in the gazebo, though it didn't anyway).

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A utopian vision for transport 19 September 2015 - 7 comments

Driverless cars, quite apart from privacy concerns, are solving the wrong problem. Here's what I want to build to replace the majority of transport infrastructure. It is unabashedly utopian.

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Hyperdog 4-ball launcher 08 September 2015 - 4 comments

I recently bought a tennis-ball catapult, for the benefit of a visiting dog. It's not as good as I'd hoped.

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That British Memeplex 16 August 2015 - 3 comments

I got this from History Monk. This is the earliest place I've found it.

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Eye Lasers 12 August 2015 - 7 comments

I have just had two different sorts of laser shot into my eyes. The eye-squeamish may not wish to keep reading.

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Intercalary (Lammas) Barbecue 2015 02 August 2015

A select group turned up for the extra barbecue that I called to take advantage of plausibly good weather (and it turned out pretty well, the first time since I got the tent that the weather forecast has been good enough for me not to put it up).

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Gazebo Roof Reconstruction 24 July 2015 - 5 comments

As those of you who came to the midsummer barbecue will have noticed, the gazebo roof had rotted in the sun. So we had it re-built. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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View from the Road (summer 2015) 22 July 2015 - 4 comments

A miscellany of interesting things seen while driving across Europe in late June. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Architecture of Mariehamn 18 July 2015

While we were in Mariehamn, Mia Åkerfelt, a PhD who specialises in the history of architecture, conducted a walking tour showing off the history of the town. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Alands Maritime Museum and Pommern 12 July 2015

Strictly speaking, the Ålands Sjöfartsmuseum. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Wildlife of Scandiwegia, summer 2015 08 July 2015 - 2 comments

Various wildlife spotted on the Finnish holiday. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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The Sloshing of Money 05 July 2015 - 2 comments

Interest rates everywhere are quite low at the moment. But there's a (legal) method that can get a 5% (pre-tax) return on up to £9,000, and 3% on a further £21,000.

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Summer Barbecue 2015 21 June 2015 - 1 comment

Summer barbecue, on the day before the solstice. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything; some photos are by Owen Smith.

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Knee Deep in Daisies 16 June 2015

The meadow last year was a riot of various wildflowers. This year it's been mostly oxeye daisies. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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The Wreck of the Liberal Democrats 11 June 2015 - 3 comments

The obvious story of woe of the recent General Election in the UK is that of the Liberal Democrats, who lost 66% of their vote share and 85% of their parliamentary seats compared with five years ago, leaving them about as much of a political force as the DUP. What went wrong?

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Does Free Content Drive Out Good? 28 May 2015 - 4 comments

Gresham's Law famously states that "bad money drives out good": if there are two currencies available, people will tend to hoard the one they trust and spend the one they don't. I think there's a different but allied process going on with items that are "good enough" driving out of the market ones that are good.

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Who Is David Fitton? 07 May 2015 - 5 comments

The Wycombe parliamentary constituency has been Conservative since 1951. It has often had candidates from obscure parties, but since 2001 there's been an Independent: one David Fitton.

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ASR-HW April 2015 20 April 2015 - 3 comments

I didn't feel like organising a Mild Day this year, so there was an ASR (Scary Devil Monastery) meeting at the Bootlegger in High Wycombe instead. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Peacock Butterfly 16 April 2015

I've seen these around from time to time, but finally managed to get a decent picture. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Have You Seen This Bird? 08 April 2015 - 5 comments

We have a new visitor to our bird-stand. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Gypsy Fish 31 March 2015 - 2 comments

Our pond has, apparently spontaneously, generated two goldfish. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Wedding Anniversary Barbecue 2015 22 March 2015 - 2 comments

A barbecue on a chilly spring day. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Ruining My Childhood 11 March 2015 - 5 comments

It has become fashionable to claim that a remake or reinvention of a favourite book, film or whatever from when one was young "ruined my childhood". And inevitably it has also become fashionable to dismiss such overblown nonsense. I think there is potential for a useful middle way.

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Contact Lenses 03 March 2015 - 2 comments

I've recently switched back to using contact lenses.

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Miscegenating Ducks? 26 February 2015 - 8 comments

A typical mallard drake has a yellow bill and white or grey flanks. Not so on the Loudwater.

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PIN security: is this a bad idea? 18 February 2015 - 5 comments

I have a number of bank accounts with cards that need PINs to use, but I use them very rarely. I think I've come up with a way of marking them on the cards with some degree of security. Does this make sense to other people?

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A Modest Proposal About Numbers 12 February 2015 - 8 comments

A small change to our numbering system would make daily use of numbers remarkably easier.

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Back to Work 02 February 2015

Today I go back to work for the first time this year.

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The RogerBW Manifesto (2015 edition) 20 January 2015 - 13 comments

It's election season here in the UK – for the first time, since we've moved to fixed-term Parliaments, a protracted American-style election season rather than a few short weeks. These are the things I'd try to do if anyone were daft enough to put me in charge; they're also promises that would encourage me to vote for people who made them.

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Shopping in Wycombe 17 January 2015 - 8 comments

I do very little shopping in person these days, and it's mostly in supermarkets. But yesterday I went to get a periodic eye test, so I thought I'd wander around our local shopping centre, "one of the top fifty shopping destinations in England". All images are cc-by-sa.

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New Year's Eve 2014 02 January 2015

To a mate's place in London on New Year's Eve for beer, games and chat.

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Roger's 2014 in 100 Words 31 December 2014

A friend likes to sum up his year in a hundred words. I'm going to copy this fine idea. "Think of it as a short and un-boastful summary of the year, which nobody is expected to understand all of."

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Winter Barbecue 2014 21 December 2014 - 1 comment

With the wind-chill-adjusted temperature below freezing, we stayed indoors.

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Why chain hotels don't need to try 19 December 2014 - 2 comments

Having recently had a truly appalling meal at a hotel that rhymes with Hark Hinn Hottingham, and heard more horror stories from people who were actually staying there, I thought about hotels' incentives to make things pleasant for their customers… and couldn't come up with any.

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How accounting rules distort real life 22 November 2014

Accounting rules have perverse effects on real life. Here's an example dear to my heart.

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Con Crud, Air Conditioning, and Legionnaire's Disease 16 October 2014 - 5 comments

Why does every large convention now seem to have an associated disease, the "con crud", generally a respiratory tract infection?

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Autumn Barbecue 2014 05 October 2014 - 1 comment

Another barbecue gone by. No photos this time as I wasn't taking them.

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Another Walk at Goring (September 2014) 29 September 2014 - 2 comments

We went back to Goring on Sunday, and things had changed quite a bit since our walk in May. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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One Man Went To Mow 26 September 2014 - 4 comments

After I did the scythe course in August, I ordered one from The Scythe Shop, and now I've put it to use in the garden. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Bristol Ferry 17 September 2014 - 1 comment

Bristol has a commuter ferry again. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Red Kites perching 28 August 2014

I was watching some magpies squabbling, in a tree half-way down the road, when something amazing happened. Large image follows: cc-by-sa on everything.

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A Drone of My Own 20 August 2014

I've started playing with my drone. It's a Micro Drone 2.0 from Extreme Fliers, also available from Micro Drone and Amazon, with the camera module. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Loncon 3 19 August 2014 - 2 comments

Over the weekend I went to the Worldcon, at ExCel in Docklands. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Don't Fear The Reaper 10 August 2014 - 3 comments

Yesterday I did a quick course in the basic use of the Austrian scythe. These are my notes and recollections. Do not mistake them for an actual scything course! Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Boom Today: Didcot Southern Cooling Tower Demolition 27 July 2014 - 3 comments

Too early this morning, I went to Wittenham to watch the demolition of the southern cooling towers at Didcot. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Kuru Toga Roulette 17 July 2014 - 3 comments

Since I bought one in 2012, the Kuru Toga Roulette has become my absolute favourite writing tool ever.

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The Origins of Homœopathy 11 July 2014

Homœopathy has some very strange ideas. But where did it actually come from?

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Summer Barbecue 2014 Aftermath 23 June 2014

In case anyone is curious as to what's left once the barbecue is over. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Summer Barbecue 2014 22 June 2014 - 3 comments

At last we were back in the garden, after a nine month break over winter for the meadow to grow. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything. (For North Americans: this is outdoor cooking on a grill, not smoking/curing.)

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A Walk at Goring (May 2014) 29 May 2014 - 4 comments

Last Sunday, we went for a walk on the Thames Path near Goring. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Juvenile bluetits 26 May 2014 - 2 comments

A flock of young bluetits has found our bird-feeder. I have my suspicions about where they nest, but I'm not going to risk disturbing them by finding out. Large images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

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Why I have no smartphone 21 May 2014 - 4 comments

A reader expressed surprise that I don't use a smartphone.

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A Walk in the Woods (May 2014) 04 May 2014 - 3 comments

Yesterday was sunny, and we went for a walk in one of the local woods. (Images follow.)

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Mild Day 2014 20 April 2014 - 2 comments

Things heard, and links, from the Mild Day on Saturday. In no particular order.

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Spring Not-Barbecue 2014 17 March 2014 - 1 comment

Things heard, and links, from the Not-Barbecue on Saturday. In no particular order.

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Floods at Marlow, One Month Later 11 February 2014 - 6 comments

More panic and despondency in Marlow. The waters today were higher than on either of our previous visits.

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Have you opted out of care.data yet? 20 January 2014

(Readers not in England, if any, please ignore.)

Have you even heard of care.data?

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Floods at Marlow, One Week Later 18 January 2014

Since we happened to be in Marlow again today, we thought we'd see how things were getting on. The water seemed generally to be between nine inches and a foot lower than last week.

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Hail in Loudwater 16 January 2014

Had a five-minute hailstorm just before noon today.

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Floods at Marlow 12 January 2014 - 1 comment

My wife heard about the flooding at Marlow, and we thought we'd go to see what we could see. Several of the houses along the waterfront were inaccessible by foot, though I didn't see any water actually above door-sills. While I wasn't feeling in a particularly journalistic mood, I took a few pictures with my phone.

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